Hardcore wall-hikers lace up those boots, Jiankou is by far the wildest and most insanely remote section of the Great Wall. The panoramic views are amazing, the unrestored and overgrown wall is kickass, and many places are dangerous as hell – this hike is not for the inexperienced.
Hiking & Info
Jiankou is totally unrestored and should never be attempted in inclement weather. Traversing this wall at times encounters near-vertical inclines, and some areas can be truly dangerous. It is not unheard of to face a crumbled staircase that beckons with six meters of vertical bouldering, and unprepared hikers have been seriously injured. The isolation means that any fall requiring medical attention may not be satisfied for hours. Solid shoes with excellent grip and a clear, confident head are essential. You are also highly advised not to hike Jiankou alone; traveling with a friend will ensure that someone is there to help if you need it. This being said, experienced and fit hikers should not be discouraged from taking advantage of the fantastic hiking and camping opportunities at Jiankou when the weather is agreeable. Being aware of the risks and rewards will ensure an awesome experience at Jiankou.
From the ticket office, head immediately left to Xizhazi village and take the first path. The steep path is the perfect warm-up before hitting the wall. There are farming courtyards to eat at here, but bringing your own lunch is highly recommended. They do not speak any English, but they are always quite happy to meet foreigners.
Pack & Additional Options
Sunscreen, Water, Lunch, Camera, Good hiking or walking shoes
Farming courtyards – ¥30 or so for a meal
Taxi - ¥500 to ¥700 round trip
Bus - The bus to Jiankou is definitely part of the Jiankou adventure. From Dongzhimen Transport Hub take the 916快 to the Mingzhu Guanchang bus stop at Huairou. Here you will need to haggle for a taxi to take you to Xizhazi Village (Xīzhāzi Cūn). Don’t pay more than ¥130. From Xizhazi village it’s an hour walk to the wall through a relaxing pine forest.
916快 – ¥12, 1 hour, 6:30 to 19:30
Taxi to Xizhazi Cun – ¥100 – ¥130 one way, 1 hour